Like many Hendricks County residents, you probably think you’re brushing your teeth correctly. After all, you’ve been brushing your teeth since you were a kid and that adds up to a lot of tooth brushing time. But you may not be brushing your teeth as well as you think, so it doesn’t hurt to review proper tooth brushing technique.
Why is correct tooth brushing technique important?
Proper brushing is essential for removing plaque, a thin, sticky film that builds up on your teeth and contains bacteria that lead to tooth decay and gum disease. Not only does a good tooth brushing clean your teeth, it also whitens them and freshens your breath, giving you a beautiful smile – something all Hendricks County residents want.

Steps to Efficient Tooth Brushing

To clean your teeth more effectively:

  1. Brush your teeth at least twice a day for about two minutes, preferably after eating, per the American Dental Association (ADA).
  2. Brush your teeth with a soft-nylon-bristled brush. The head of the toothbrush should be small enough to easily reach all of your teeth, including your back molars. An electric toothbrush is a good option if you have difficulty brushing your teeth.
  3. Apply a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste onto your toothbrush. Use an ADA-accepted fluoride toothpaste that helps to remove plaque and strengthen tooth enamel.
  4. Tilt your toothbrush at a 45° angle to your gums. Refer to these American Dental Hygienists’ Association diagrams for proper technique
  5. Gently brush your teeth, using short back-and-forth, rolling strokes.
  6. Brush the outer, inner and chewing surfaces of your teeth. To brush your inner teeth, tip your toothbrush vertically, making several up-and-down strokes. Pay extra attention to your gumline, hard-to-reach molars and areas around fillings, crowns or other dental restorations.
  7. Gently brush your tongue to remove bacteria and freshen your breath.
  8. Rinse out your mouth with water, salt water or mouthwash. Swish the liquid around your mouth for a minute and spit it out.
  9. Rinse your toothbrush under running water for a few seconds to remove bacteria. Place it in a cup or holder where it can dry out.
  10. Replace your toothbrush every three months or when the bristles become worn.

Proper tooth brushing is an important part of maintaining good oral hygiene. If you want to make sure you’re brushing your teeth correctly, talk to Dr. Jon Erickson and the dental hygienists at Danville Family Dentistry, located in Hendricks County. They can answer your questions and demonstrate proper tooth brushing technique to ensure you continue to have a healthy smile.